I WAS interested to read the Labour Keighley Parliamentary candidate’s claim he turned down the chance to stand in two “safe” seats and instead chose to stay where he lost last time around.
In the interests of openness, I think he would do us all a favour if he told us which seats they were. I’m sure the Labour candidates and members there would like to know, too.
After all, this is the same man who deserted his former constituents in Selby in 2010 rather than stand and fight for them.
This is also the man who enthusiastically supported the proposed energy-from-waste facility at Marley during the past General Election campaign in 2015 and even asked for more to be built.
I noticed it was only several days after being chosen to stand again in Keighley that he suddenly decided he was against the project. He made no mention of it in his initial comments after being selected.
If his opposition was so strong, surely that would have been the first issue he felt the need to talk about.
Keighley has its problems and I’m sure we can all agree an MP should be clear and consistent in his or her views.
Sadly, our Labour candidate seems like the proverbial cushion that bears the imprint of the last person who sat on him.
That is not the kind of ‘leadership’ Keighley needs. Neither do we want someone whose natural instinct is to walk away when the going gets tough.
ANNETTE DAVIES West Bank Close, Braithwaite
* The Labour Keighley Parliamentary candidate, John Grogan, responds: “Just a few facts in response.
“My candidacy was announced on the morning of May 2. That same afternoon I issued a press release opposing the proposed waste-to-energy plant. I am not really sure how much quicker I could have been in making my views clear.
“I acknowledged in that release that I had indeed welcomed the original proposed investment in April 2015 (which at that time had attracted little public debate), when contacted just before the General Election by the Keighley News. I also pointed out that the proposals were changed in August 2015 when a new planning application proposed a larger, more intrusive building. Besides, when a local community is concerned about an issue, surely a good MP or aspirant MP should engage with that campaign rather than ignore it?
“I fought five General Elections in the marginal seat of Selby, wining the seat at the third attempt. I served the people for 13 years, retiring only in 2010 when the seat was split in two and large new areas were added in Harrogate, which I had never represented.
"I was proud to be a Labour MP but far from being 'like the proverbial cushion', I also was prepared to vote against my own Government on issues such as Iraq when I thought it was wrong.
“Annette Davies is clearly a plain-speaking Keighley woman. If I am elected, she will be most welcome to attend one of my advice surgeries to make any point she wants. These will be publicly advertised in the Keighley News and I will see any constituent who wants to meet me. There will be no filtering system in my office.
"Moreover, Annette will be welcome to bring along her husband, Councillor Ian Dermondy, who is registered at the same address in West Bank Close and who himself recently joined the Conservative Party.”